Treating Knee Pain With TCM

Knee pain is a condition that has plagued our society for generations. Particularly prevalent amongst the elderly, it can be a severe disruptor of our daily activities. Furthermore, it can cause plenty of distress to us when we have to deal with the pain. If you have had knee pain for some time, then undoubtedly you would constantly be on the lookout for help.

In which case, it may be time for you to consider Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies and prescriptions. In this article, we explore how TCM diagnoses knee pain and determines the appropriate treatment.

Understanding knee pain

For starters, knee pain is a symptom and not a condition or root cause. As such, we may experience knee pain owing to a variety of different conditions, ailments or circumstances. If you have suffered an injury or traumatic accident, then chances are that is the cause of the knee pain.

On the other hand, it is possible that without any physical impact, your knee might also start to experience pain. This typically occurs due to wear and tear of the joint, which thus leads to bone on bone grinding. These set of symptoms refer to arthritis, which is common amongst the elderly.

Knee pain and conditions might rob us of the ability to walk or even bend our legs. Attempting to perform these activities causes a sharp twinge and thus a jolt of pain. The resulting weakness or tenderness might also cause us to collapse on that one leg. For first timers, this can be a terrifying experience and one that shakes our confidence.

How TCM views joint pain

Unfortunately, there is no immediate treatment that can remove the pain and restore our mobility. Instead, gradual treatments that bring about progressive improvements are typically prescribed. This is where TCM fits into the picture as a holistic approach to dealing with knee pain.

Non-Accident related knee pain

Where no obvious injury or trauma has taken place, then TCM practitioners believe that knee pain might have emerged as a result of kidney deficiency. This is because your knees are strongly influenced by the kidney’s energetic organ system. As such, any internal knee issues are linked to the kidney, including that of the recovery from any ailments.

Kidney Yin Deficiency

Yin energy is often described as dark and feminine. Where there is a deficiency of Yin, and thus an excess of Yang, the disharmony allows for ailments like knee pain to arise.

If you experience worsening symptoms of knee pain at night, then you may have kidney yin deficiency. Similarly, you may also have kidney yin deficiency if you experience the following symptoms in addition to your knee pain:

  • Afternoon and night sweats
  • Incessant thirst
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle hair


Kidney Yang Deficiency

Yang energy is typically described as light and masculine. Due to its relationship with Yin energy, similarly like before, a lack of balance between the two gives way to health troubles.

Do you feel that your knee pain intensifies in lower temperatures yet receives relief with an application of heat? If so, then you likely have a deficiency of Yang energy in your kidney.

Trauma related knee pain

In Chinese medical theory, upon receiving impact or trauma, blood and Qi stagnation in your knee often emerges. This stagnation blocks the knee from receiving Qi and nutrients needed to initiate the recovery. Furthermore, if stagnancy is allowed to remain in your knee for a prolonged period, then you can expect arthritis or long-term stiffness to develop.

Specifically, trauma causes your knee’s tenacious collagen is violently impacted. In turn, tendon, ligament or meniscal tears become the end result of the trauma. Management and quick recovery of the collagen is critical here due to the possible long-term developing impacts. In particular, effort needs to be devoted to preventing the tendons from becoming inflamed.

Alleviating knee pain


Using Chinese herbs

Chinese herbs have been used for centuries in the treatment of various health ailments. With regards to knee pain, common prescriptions of Chinese medicine for joint pain include that of:

  • Turmeric, which has a long history of reliving mild joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that turmeric helps to improve the function and mobility of joints when taken in the long run.
  • Ginger, which is often used to warm up aching joints and unblock stagnant meridian points in your knee. When consumed regularly, Qi flow should improve through your knee region, thus improving its rate of recovery.
  • Boswellia, which improves joint mobility and reduce joint pain.


While this list of herbs for relieving knee pain may look intimidating or troublesome, there are easy to access TCM products that incorporate all. Given the demand for quick to consume medication, TCM companies nowadays combine and manufacture them in tablet form. This makes the consumption of TCM a fuss free and tidy affair.

Lifestyle changes needed

It should be noted that TCM always takes a holistic approach to any health condition. Rather than simply taking medicine and expecting an instant cure, you will be required to make changes to your lifestyle to improve internal harmony. Only once harmony is achieved, will your body have the infrastructure needed to make a full recovery from any condition.

As such, in addition to the prescription of natural Chinese herbs, a TCM practitioner will recommend specific exercises for knee pain. Examples include that of Qigong and Taichi, both of which are types of active movements used in TCM to improve the flow of Qi. The aim of which is to relieve pain and improve the range of motion of your knee.

Trust Tong Jum Chew For All Your TCM Needs

Tong Jum Chew was founded in 1965 as a medical hall. Since then, it has grown into a manufacturer and distributor traditional Chinese medicine Singapore health supplements. We boast a modern manufacturing facility in Singapore that includes a clean room environment. All products are produced using modern machinery and undergo stringent checks to ensure that they are safe for consumption or usage.